An overview for some of the pathways to a good career that don’t require a college degree to get started.
Most professionals didn’t know what they wanted to do right away. The majority of those who did go to college are working in a field that is outside of their college major. This doesn’t means that college has no value but the idea that going to college will guarantee success is a false one. Conversely, not attending college does not mean that you are a going to be failure. If you want to pursue a good career but aren’t sure if college is the path for you, there are options.
Questions you might be asking if you are unsure about college.
Help finding a job without a college degree.
A college degree may make your resume more presentable and possibly give you an upper hand on other applicants but it does not guarantee employment. If you don’t know what to do, why not find an entry level position for a job in a field that peaks your interest? You can provide for yourself while you are figuring things out and you may find something you enjoy. Service based industries such as retail, food and construction are always hiring. You may get rejected or you may get hired. If you get rejected ask them what you would need to do in order to make yourself a more appealing applicant. Continue to seek out opportunities in fields that interest you.
Keys to dealing with employment rejection:
Explore career pathways through the skilled trades.
In the not so distant past, it was common for young people to enter into an apprenticeship program as a career pathway. In the simplest terms, apprenticeship means you are learning from someone who has experience in a skilled trade so that you can learn that trade and thereby earn a living doing the same. In most areas the formalized apprenticeships are offered through labor unions for work including electrical, plumbing, automotive, mechanical and construction. Companies in the construction industry that provide services including: property restoration, remodeling, asbestos abatement, landscaping, roofing, painting, HVAC and so forth are eagerly looking for applicants who are trainable. If you can bring the character traits of being honest, hard working and willing to learn you will find that there are opportunities to build an enduring career for yourself.
Find your local community college career center.
There are so many resources out there for people looking for employment. A simple search of “employment resources”, “career assistance” and/or “job opportunities” with your area will pull up options for local help. Your local community college will have resources for community members, even if you are not a student, such as these from Pierce College in Puyallup, Washington:
Learn to succeed by attending a trade school.
What is a trade school? According to The Simple Dollar, “A trade school, also known as a technical or vocational school, is an educational institution that exists to teach skills related to a specific job.” Attending a trade school can provide specific training in a field that often can lead more directly into immediate work opportunities. Trade schools often are less expensive and require less time to complete. There are trade schools for various industries including animal science, business, legal, medical, technology and skilled trades.
Reach out to a temporary employment agency.
If you need to work but aren’t sure what you want to do, applying with a staffing agency is a good way to find short term assignments that allow you to try multiple jobs. Temporary labor is utilized by various industries to fill needs during their busy seasons, seasonal work and to fill needs within their organization. Some staffing companies, such as Staffing Partners in Eugene, Oregon, will even provide assistance with basic skills and training to help prepare you for success with a local company.
Seek out local, county and statewide employment assistance.
There are agencies in your city, county and state that are set up to help you succeed in your employment search. In Washington state Monster.com, a popular job search website, has partnered with state, local and nonprofit agencies to provide training and employment help. This outlet is titled WorkSource offering, “Job seekers access to thousands of jobs and advanced job-search tools to find career opportunities more easily.”
Pursue job skills help from the federal government.
Another option includes programs funded at the federal level such as Job Corps. These programs offer hands-on training in growing industries. While Job Corps targets persons between the ages of 16 and 24, the requirements beyond that are rather broad. Eligibility includes a commitment to improving your future and the need for job skills training to get you started on your career pathway. Programs like these often do not cost the participants anything and can provide those that complete them with skills as well as a clear pathway to gainful employment.
There are many paths to success, intentionally develop yours.
There are many ways to make mistakes. As long as your mistakes do not include violating laws, ethics or human decency, most of these errors will not permanently hinder your life path. You can choose to learn from your own mistakes or you can be wise and learn from the mistakes of others. The important thing is to learn so that your mistakes are not wasted. Similarly, there are many ways to achieve success. The important thing is to try to chart a vision for where you are headed and what you want to be. This is a lifelong pursuit and will evolve as you develop personally as well as professionally. There are so many opportunities out there. The first step is the most important, move forward and keep going.
Are you tired of the cost, pain and setbacks from high employee turnover?
Many organizations are struggling to attract, develop and retain good people. People in a position of leadership are asking themselves and their circle of peers what can be done to gain on these issues. Businesses know that they need people in order to provide their products or services. Even though people are a necessary component to any successful team, managers often struggle to solve the people issues of their day.
Are you attracting the right people?
If you fish, you know the value of having the right bait. The more you know about who you are fishing for, where you will be fishing and what the condition are, the more successful you will be. Fishing teaches you that you must be patient. Do some research, ask local fishermen, adjust to the conditions and trust the process.
Are you able to answer:
Align the hiring process with your values
Are you frustrated by high turnover? You feel the burden of having to continually recruit and train new employees. Beyond that pain there are hard costs for your organization as well as the demoralizing toll of strolling through the graveyard of co-workers past. Are you clear on your vision and values? If you can communicate those core components, have you analyzed whether your hiring process is in alignment with your vision and values? Too often organizations recruit people that have skills but are not good value or cultural fits.
Are you tired of the revolving door of employee turnover? Are you willing to adjust your hiring process to stop chasing unicorns and start hiring according to your vision and values?
Build your vision by starting with recruitment
Previously we have written about the Three Character Keys for Acquiring Value Adding Talent. In an age where unemployment levels are at record lows, those that want to compete for talent have to get creative. This creativity comes in searching where those of the status quo are unwilling to go. Finding new fishing holes and experimenting with different types of bait will enable you to keep bringing quality team members into the boat.
While you cannot control everything your team members do once they are in the organization, you can control who you allow on the team. Start respecting the process.
Develop your organization by building a team
Whether you have a good team or you are committed to building one, who you let in the door is a critical decision. A bad hire costs more than a good one and the ripple effects can set your momentum back for an extended period of time. Conversely, as Gino Wickman points out in his book Traction, "If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time." Does this inspire you? Isn't that what good leaders want - a team with members who are rowing together and dominating? That process starts with an organization clear on their vision and values.
Build trust by creating clarity around truth in your organization, consistently protecting those values and developing accountability within the team from the top down and the bottom up.
Are you willing to change your approach
In his latest article covering change management, author and coach Lex Sisney shares the Stop-Start-Ideal methodology of communication. While he shares this as a means to better communicate with team members who need to adjust their actions, it also serves as a metric for adjusting our own thinking. If you find yourself doing things that are not getting the result that you want, it's time to stop doing the things that are setting you back. Get some clarity on your ideals. Start acting in alignment with your vision and values. Learn to fish with bait that attracts the type of fish you want in the boat.
Becoming a more effective leader of people starts with being more personable.
Leadership is a hot topic but what makes someone a leader? The role of leadership can be assumed, assigned or affirmed. Learning to execute as a person in a position of leadership is key to success. Managing people is more effective when you are personable. Whether you are at the executive level, middle management or just starting your career, our PIAPOL concepts will help you navigate your course.
Break away from empty leadership talk
When speaking of leadership things, we often sink into the same shallow waters of platitudes. How many times can you hear the same words said in the same way with the same lackluster results? The truth is that those in leadership have to adapt to their environment. When we place leadership on a pedestal we invite myth and dysfunction.
Steps towards more effective leadership
Becoming a more effective leader starts with:
Being more personable will elevate your leadership
By understanding that leadership is not an exclusive club, rather there are only People In A Position of Leadership (P-I-A-P-O-L), we can better approach these roles and responsibilities.
Enjoy the video above and find more on these topics:
🥋 @thedyojo - Build a culture that thrives on clarity, consistency & accountability. 💼 The Do Your Job Dojo (DYOJO)
Rachel Stewart has good news for all those who feel like they alone are unqualified to achieve their dreams, we all are.
Positivity makes us feel good, but does it have any power? Author and practitioner Rachel Stewart shares her insights into harnessing the power of the right mindset while pursuing success. Her book, Unqualified Success, is packed with examples from high achievers as well as a uniquely personal story which unfolds throughout the narrative. Rachel provides practical tools for personal development that will empower readers to embrace the journey of bridging the gap from where you are today to where you want to be.
Rachel makes herself approachable as an author. Introducing herself and kicking off the tone of the book with the first line, “I am unqualified to write this book.” By admitting this, she seeks to embrace this truth with those who feel as though they are unqualified and are willing to admit it as the start of their journey. The key is that, “The only qualification to get better: being willing to such when you start (p.180).”
Starting at Zero
At the time of writing this book, Rachel was serving as the Executive Vice President of Titan Restoration in Arizona. She started her career in the world of property damage restoration as a stay at home mother returning to the work force. Titan hired Rachel as an unqualified bookkeeper and office manager. As the company grew, so did Rachel and they found themselves reaching a five year goal in less than half that time.
Check Your Ego at the Door
At a critical point of choosing whether to merge with another company or continue on their own, Titan offers Rachel the opportunity to serve as their general manager. As the professional stakes grew the personal feelings of being unqualified did not diminish. It is in many of these uncomfortable moments of inadequacy that Rachel learns to lean into the reality of being unqualified rather than protecting your ego.
“This book isn’t about ego. In fact, it’s about the exact opposite. I have been highly unqualified for every position that I have ever held. But I have come to learn that we all are. We are all unqualified today for the life we could have tomorrow (p.9).”
From the Trenches
Unqualified Success weaves the stories of names we respect as achievers as well as new characters such as Magno Santos. Magno immigrates from Brazil and the reader is invited to journey with him throughout the book as he pursues the American Dream. Recognizing that we are all unqualified frees us to embrace the process of becoming by changing our perspective. Magno continually propels himself forward in the face of obstacles with the mantra, “If you can know it, I can know it (p.29).”
Change of Perspective
Paradigm shift is easier said than done but by doing so we are able to see that our actions do not create out feelings, our thoughts do. Rachel posits that no one is qualified when it comes down to it. The big secret is, “That having the mindset that you are qualified is the biggest determining factor in whether or not you are qualified (p.25).” Cleaning out your thought closet and taking ownership of your thoughts is key to unlocking your potential.
Change of Expectation
If our self-view is the starting point, the next phase is aligning our expectation. “Too many times we are waiting to arrive before we start (p.48).” Understanding that mastery is a process and practice is the key to pursuit of perfection, we should not discourage ourselves with a defined view of the end. Our battle for becoming is primarily an internal one. The imagery of the two wolves fighting inside each of us presented in Chapter 5 is apt. Which one will win? “The one you feed (p.68).”
Change of Environment
Ordinary people achieve extraordinary things. Greatness is not the exclusive property of the elite. “The willingness to stay in discomfort for extended periods of time is the essence of grit. It also happens to be an essential key to achieving everything you want (p.83).” As Rachel notes, discomfort is a factor both in failure and in success. Discomfort is the currency and working through it is the journey. When we are tested we must resist our numbing agents and lean into the process of testing our limits.
The Big Reveal
Rachel blends a beautiful mix of personal experience, representative stories and practical tools to assist the reader in building a resource base for feeding their growth mindset. She seeks to inspire others to embrace the journey. The book reveals that Magno’s relentless pursuit of bettering himself intersects with Rachel’s family in a very real way when is quality of care lead to an early diagnosis for her father. “Nobody starts out extraordinary. No one begins fully qualified and ready. The minute we understand this principle and it really sinks in, our whole work opens up (p.243).”
Are You Ready to be an Unqualified Success?
If you dare to read this book, you will find that your excuses melt and your obstacles become opportunities. You should feel unqualified but that should in no way stop you from pursing success. “When we are willing to trade in our need to win or succeed for a need to simply learn and grown instead, we open another world of possibility for achievement (p.186).” You are not alone, you have resources and a tribe of fellow unqualified successes rooting for you.
The DYOJO is the Do Your Job Dojo. In The DYOJO we want to help each other develop intentionally.